Do you have signs of a toxic brain?

When toxins build up in our brains over time, we might experience fatigue, brain fog, poor concentration and memory, moodiness, vertigo (dizziness), headaches, confusion, and even unhealthy cravings.

Environmental toxins come from many sources, including water, food, air, personal care and cleaning products, dental fillings and sealants, paint, synthetic fertilizers (Roundup), air pollution, cigarettes, plastic food and beverage containers, cash register receipts, and the list goes on.

Let’s talk about toxins in food that can damage the brain and increase the risk of memory problems and dementia.

Mercury is a heavy metal that accumulates in the fatty flesh of larger fish, such as grouper, King mackerel, albacore and bigeye tuna, orange roughy, marlin, swordfish, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. When we eat mercury-contaminated fish, it can store in our fatty tissue. Our brain contains lots of fatty tissue.

Eat cilantro with your fish, which is known to help bind with mercury and remove it from the body. Also, eat plenty of fiber-rich plant foods with fish, or you won’t be removing anything!

Foods grown in conventional soil that has been treated with synthetic fertilizers may contain high amounts of cadmium, which is a highly toxic heavy metal. It can accumulate in the liver and kidneys, interfering with detoxification. Studies have associated high cadmium levels with osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Eat organic produce as often as possible.

Alert: Cigarettes contain high amounts of cadmium!

Pesticides (organochlorines and organophosphates) are neurotoxins and also promote weight gain, because toxins are stored in fat cells to protect our organs. In one study, people who were in the top 5% of exposure to DDT (organochlorine pesticide) had a 650% increased risk of developing dementia. Check the Dirty Dozen List at to find which produce has the most pesticide residues.

Glyphosate is an herbicide found in Roundup weed killer, and its residues are found in genetically-modified crops (GMOs). Glyphosate has been shown to interfere with testosterone and estrogen balance and damage cells, increasing the risk for cancer. Avoid GMOs! Look for the “Non-GMO Verified Project” symbol on food and beverage packages. Learn which foods are commonly genetically modified by visiting

Apples are usually on the Dirty Dozen List and are often sprayed with diphenylamine to make them shiny and slow discoloration. This chemical breaks down into nitrosamines, which are carcinogic and associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

So, what’s a person to do? A good place to start is by limiting exposure and supporting detoxification:

  1. Eat organic (especially those on the Dirty Dozen List) as often as possible. One study: Certain pesticide levels decreased in the urine of one family by 95% after two weeks of eating organic food. Another study: The levels of neurotoxic pesticides in children who ate conventionally-grown foods (non-organic) were nine times higher than in those who ate organic.
  2. Avoid genetically-modified foods. As much as 96% of US soy is genetically modified and contains high levels of arsenic and cadmium. Soy is in so many processed foods. Only buy organic whole soy products.
  3. Read and understand food and beverage labels, and avoid toxic ingredients. Download my free Label Reading Guidelines PDF to get 15 label-reading tips. Join my free 6-Day Label Reading Challenge starting next Monday, May 6, by joining my Learning to be Healthy with Lisa Private Facebook Group.
  4. Avoid processed meats that contain nitrates and nitrites. These nitrosamines encourage the liver to produce toxic fats.
  5. Eat enough fiber to help bind toxins in the colon and remove them from the body.
  6. Drink enough pure water (filtered with charcoal or reverse osmosis) to help the kidneys flush out toxins.
  7. Support your liver (major detoxification organ) by eating cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.).
  8. Exercise to sweat and move your lymphatic system. Toxins are released in sweat, and more glutathione is made, which is a powerful detoxifying antioxidant. Sitting for prolonged periods is like a stagnant river.
  9. Register for the free online DIY Detox Summit!
  10. Ask God for wisdom, and learn to enjoy God’s food instead of man’s food!

Keep Learning to be Healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

Label Reading Guidelines free download

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Two Hormones that may be Contributing to Excess Belly Fat

To help balance your appetite, you need balanced levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin signals hunger and then decreases for approximately three hours after a meal.  When levels remain chronically high, abdominal fat is often formed, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Leptin signals fullness, affecting your appetite and metabolism.  The right amount is beneficial for weight control.  Studies have shown that foods can either block or increase leptin levels.  You neither want too little or too much.

Eating low-nutrient foods (sodas, refined flours, refined sugars, etc.) can block the production of leptin, which can keep you from feeling full and result in overeating.

Eating low-nutrient foods can also, over time, lead to chronically high leptin levels, and the body can become leptin resistant.  This is similar to how chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance.  Most diabetics are also leptin resistant.  Both conditions can contribute to weight gain, especially around the abdomen.

The good news is that losing excess weight helps increase sensitivity to leptin!

Factors that affect ghrelin and leptin levels:

*MSG (monosodium glutamate) can decrease leptin levels (

*Omega-3 fats found in walnuts, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and seeds (flax, chia, hemp) help balance leptin levels.

*Eating approximately every four hours can help keep ghrelin levels from getting too high so your appetite doesn’t get out of control.

*Eating high-fiber foods can reduce ghrelin by helping you feel full.

*Refined sugars and refined grains increase ghrelin levels.

*Eating too few calories can interfere with ghrelin and leptin levels, actually contributing to weight gain.

*Eating protein at every meal and snack can help lower ghrelin levels.

*Less than seven hours of sleep each night can result in higher ghrelin levels and lower leptin levels.

*Too much stress affects everything, including ghrelin and leptin levels!

My Eat to be Healthy online program is now available!  This is the basic nutrition program that I use with my clients to help them lay a foundation of healthy eating.  I’ve packaged all the PDFs together into a do-it-yourself program, making it extremely cost effective–only $39!

You get 20 PDF documents that you can download to your computer or other device:

Eat to be Healthy Guide to give you a recommended plan of action.

Why Diets Don’t Work

Goal Setting Worksheet

Connecting the Dots template to help you keep track of what you eat and how you feel, along with a link to the Bristol Stool Chart so you can make poop observations.😛

The Healthy Plate Guide (ratio of protein, fat, starchy & non-starchy carbs)

The Healthy Plate Meal Planner Guide template (you can make copies)

and two weeks of Sample Meal Plan Menus

2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Seven Tips for Adding Healthy, Whole Foods

20 Healthy Snack Ideas

Guide to a Rainbow of Nutrients

Mindful Eating Tips

Water Works

Factors Affecting Weight Loss

Label Reading Guidelines

Eating Out Tips

List of Healthy Lifestyle Habits (three pages of recommended habits to learn)

Resources (a list of books, websites, apps, and more to help you eat to be healthy)

Scripture for Memorization and Encouragement (God-power vs. willpower)

As a special bonus, when you purchase this program through the link in this blog, I’ll send you a PDF of my 16-page Learning to be Healthy Recipes.

Of course, you can email me with any questions you have about the program and receive additional support, encouragement, and accountability in the private Facebook group:

Here’s the link to get your Eat to be Healthy online program:

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.